'Eternals' Is A Failure
By Sal LoCicero | November 8, 2021 (UPDATED: August 30, 2023)
For the first time ever, Marvel Studios has put out a feature that most critics are bashing. Whenever a superhero blockbuster (aka a Marvel movie) is near its arrival to theaters, the majority of people are satisfied with it. However, ‘Eternals’ is not starting out well for the studio. It seems that ‘Eternals’ is facing mixed reactions from both critics and audiences; which is rare.
‘Eternals’ is not what most fans have come to expect from its distributors. Based on the comic books created by Jack Kirby, the Eternals made their debut in the mid 70s. Just like the Guardians Of The Galaxy (whose first appearance was in the late 60s), these extraterrestrial humanoids were unknown. It wasn't until when Kevin Feige announced plans for Phase Four at Disney D23 Expo in 2019, that the ‘Eternals’ became known to the public.
From Academy Award-winning Director Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), ‘Eternals’ follows a group of extraterrestrial beings throughout history, who have always followed their own rule; never interfere with other conflicts. The movie shifts from past to present throughout most of its extended 2 hour and 37 minute runtime, one thing that is to be said, is that Marvel Studios is really trying to show that they are capable of depicting all kinds of movies and TV shows without the need of following the same superhero formula, and It is obvious in this movie. From start to finish, you never feel as if you are watching an MCU picture. It comes off as an original science fiction fantasy.
With so much possible potential, this could’ve been considered one of the most influential superhero movies of all time. Unfortunately, this is far from it. ‘Eternals’ proves itself to be the worst entry in the Marvel Universe. It is poorly written, the structure is so uneven that you lose both interest and understanding to the story and the characters. You can tell that Chloe Zhao tried her best to direct and allow audiences to connect with these characters, but there is not a single moment where you will feel attached to any of them.
The story is all over the place. One scene takes you from the past to present and another takes you from the present to past, and apparently, the filmmakers expect us to follow what is occurring on screen despite the lack of information given. The first act is as confusing as it is boring. The second act offers a decently filmed action sequence located in the forest. This is the most exciting sequence of the entirety. The final act is exhausting to sit through.
Kumail Nanjiani, Bryan Tryee Henry, and Barry Keoghan are all standouts. Nanjiani was pretty funny, but he also portrayed his character well. Bryan Tyree Henry gave the most likable performance out of everyone. Keoghan never lets us down with any performance. The visual effects were nice, nothing original from Marvel, but it does add to the action.
While you do have to acknowledge that the producers took a risk by introducing a new group of superheros to the table, and the fact that Feige chose to collaborate on a project that the studio normally wouldn’t put their hands on, but in order for that to work, you need a decent story (at least).
Unless you are a fan of the Eternals then you may appreciate it, but if you are new to the group then you are better off waiting until ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ arrives in December, because this one is not worth your time.